OZARK, Mo–Springfield Catholic and Rogersville high school sit within just a few miles of each other east of Springfield.
And Thursday both of those programs were playing for a state baseball championship.
The Fighting Irish faced Father Tolton out of Columbia in the Class 3 championship.
Scoreless in the first, Coleman Morrison flares this to shallow right field, it stays fair, Cole Leonhart and Jack Schoen both score it’s 2-0 Fighting Irish.
Now 3-0 with two on for Tolton’s Justus Martin who sprays it out to right, it gets all the way into the corner, John Putnam and Lucas Wietholder score, Martin has a triple, but ball gets away and he sprints home and just like that we’re tied at three.
Irish get it right back as Ben Ruter singles to right, it stays fair, Ben Smith scores and it’s 4-3 Irish.
But that’s when the Trailblazers would put it away, Martin goes over short and into left, Logan Thompson and Wietholder score.
Tolton would add some insurance and win the Class 3 state championship 8-4.
“Being able to fight through it and to come back better each day. To work together and have the success and get past the quarterfinals, get to the final four, play for a state championship. A lot of these kids are coming back. We look to next year, we thank our seniors we wouldn’t be here without them, but we are building,” said Catholic coach Courtney Spitz.
“I think tomorrow we’ll start to see the sunshine that comes out of these clouds. I think it’ll start feeling better as the years go by. It’ll fuel these guys to get back next year,” said Catholic shortstop Cole Leonhart.